Sunday, November 21, 2004

South Carolina Seceding from Public Education?

In South Carolina, Governor Mark Sanford and the house leadership have been pushing for the "Put Parents in Charge" act--one of the largest "school choice" measures in the country that is based on educational tax credits.

It appears that the measure has sufficient support to pass the house when the legislature reconvenes in January and the proponents of school choice are engaged in a pitched battle against the teachers unions to sway public opinion and the senate between now and then.

If South Carolina does begin secede from the public education system--through the individual choices of one parent at a time--what impact would that have on other states?

Click here for an overview of the "Put Parents in Charge" proposal.

Click here for the statement of Governor Mark Sanford.

" 'This proposal is a significant step forward on the education front for two reasons,' Gov. Sanford said. 'First, it's giving parents more choices to determine for themselves what's in the best interests of their own kids. Second, it brings a real market pressure to bear on the current system--something that's been proven to help improve performance at public schools where similar choice measures have been implemented. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone out there who doesn't believe that a parent engaging in their kid's education is a central component in producing better results in the classroom. We're all about giving parents in South Carolina both the opportunity and the financial incentive to do just that--and to make what's ultimately a much more important investment in the lives of their kids.'

" 'We are standing up for the rights of parents to make choices based on the individual needs of their children and refuting the long-held belief in education that one size fits all,' said Rep. Lewis Vaughn. 'Parents in South Carolina deserve the right to seek out alternatives when their children's needs aren't being met by the current system.' "

If any TIA Daily readers, especially those from South Carolina, have any more information or comments about this issue please write to

-- Shrikant Rangnekar